Around the time I turned forty, I discovered I could draw. I’d never had any artistic talent, or at least I didn’t think so, but it all came bubbling to the surface at midlife.
I’d read a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and it inspired me to give drawing a try. I learned how to really see and render lines and shadows, rather than trying to duplicate a perfect replica of my subject. I also learned to release judgement about myself and my artistic abilities and simply go with the flow of drawing.
This experience was my first real “ah ha” moment with mindfulness. When I was drawing in this relaxed, non-judgmental state, I was completely focused and in the moment. It was all about the pencil, the paper, and the practice of drawing. All worries and distractions fell away.
This is the essence of mindfulness. You are fully present in right now. You are engaged in whatever you are doing. You are no longer dwelling in the past or fretting about the future. Mindfulness ends suffering, because the present moment is perfect (even when it’s not what you think you want).
The practice of mindfulness, through meditation, breathing, or any of the various ways you can practice presence, will make you a more contented, centered, and joyful person, even in the midst of your hectic daily life.